If you are either new to maca, or new to the different colors of maca, you’re probably wondering something
- “Is it important which color of maca I take?”
- “How is red maca different?” or
- “I’ve heard red maca is good, but what can it really do for me?”
These are great questions because if you are considering adding maca to your diet, you no doubt want to find the best type and color for you. In this article, we hope to answer your questions and point you in the right direction.
Here, we cover potential red maca benefits you may be interested in, providing both the relevant scientific evidence as well as stories from some of our amazing customers regarding their personal experiences while enjoying this unique root vegetable. You can see a more comprehensive view of general maca benefits for all of the different varieties of maca here.
A note before we dive in. It’s important to remember that maca is a food and not a drug, supplement or herb. The statements and findings we present here are based on experience and research, but do not necessarily imply similar results. They are not intended as medical advice. If you do have specific health questions regarding the use of maca, please contact a competent and knowledgeable doctor or health care provider.
Red Maca Research
Over the past 15 years, maca has drawn the attention of several medical researchers and scientists. Their work has produced some very promising and interesting results regarding red maca and its efficacy. The studies we cite are compiled on the U.S. National Institutes of Health PubMed database and you can review all of them at once .
Red maca has been associated with maintaining a healthy prostate. A seminal study done on the red phenotype of maca was published in the “Journal Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology. During this study 8 medical research scientists gave different colors of maca to rats with enlarged prostates over the course of 6 weeks. In their conclusions, they report: “Red maca but neither yellow nor black maca reduced significantly ventral prostate size in rats.”
This study prompted several others including one published in “Andrologia” in May 2012 which concluded that “…RM administered from day 1 to day 14 reduced prostate size and zinc levels in rats where prostatic hyperplasia was induced…” and another from Dec 2017 “Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine” which found that “..red maca reduced prostate size in Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) by restoring expression of ERβ without affecting androgen receptors and ERα.”
2. Bone Strength and Density
In 2010 researchers from the Universidad Peruana, Lima published a study on the effects of maca extract on bone structure in rats that had had their ovaries removed. The conclusion was that both “Red and black maca have protective effects on bone architecture in OVX rats without showing estrogenic effects on uterine weight.”
3. Mood and energy
Another study from the same Peruvian University in 2006 found black maca to increase sperm production more than yellow or red maca. But the study also concluded that red maca, like other macas, have a favorable effect on energy, mood, sexual desire and improving male sexual dysfunction. Similarly, a comparative study on the various Maca colors from Aug 2016 in the journal “Pharmaceuticals” found that “…effects on mood, energy, and chronic mountain sickness (CMS) score were better with red maca.” This study also indicated that all types of Maca gave people a higher quality of life score.
Another early study (2006) on the different colors of maca roots found that while “…Black Maca appeared to have more beneficial effects on latent learning in OVX mice; meanwhile, all varieties of Maca showed antidepressant activity.” It has also been our experience that all maca colors work to improve mood, with red maca being slightly more effective.
5. Wound Healing
In a December 2017 article published in “High Altitude Medicine and Biology,” research found that “…red maca at high altitude generates a positive effect on wound healing, decreasing the number of neutrophils and increasing the number of macrophages in the wound healing at day 7 post-wounding.”
6. Higher Nutrient Levels
The aforementioned seminal study on maca from 2005 also goes on to report that in under pyhtochemical analysis for 7 RED-Webfunctional nutrient groups, “Highest peak values were observed for Red Maca, intermediate values for Yellow Maca and low values for Black Maca.” And a study from “International Journal of Biomedical Science” in September 2015 concluded: “The Red Maca phenotype showed the highest concentrations of Glucosinolates as compared to the Black and Yellow Maca.”
7. Skin Health
A study from 2001 in the “International Journal of Dermatology” found that evidence that maca offers some protection from sunburn. “red maca protected the skin and liver against significant increases in the lipid peroxidation activity observed in the unprotected animals.”
7. Immune boosting
Research published in Peru in 2014 on red maca concluded that “red maca administration increases levels of IFN-γ in ovariectomized rats.” IFN-γ is a type of chemical in our bodies that is thought to help protect us against viral, some bacterial and protozoal infections.